So the other day I was reading an article online about Bratz Dolls (my daughter has one and the headline–Are Bratz Dolls Too Sexy?–caught my attention!). I’ve heard most of these observations about the Bratz dolls in other places before now, so it was a quote about the American Girl dolls and accessories, on page 2 of the article, that I found most interesting.
American Girl recently introduced a line of bath and body products for little girls (ages 8 and up). Sharon Lamb, one of the authors quoted in this article, says that selling lotion with these dolls “sends a message…telling girls that lotion is something they need. ‘And girls don’t need to be self-conscious about needing soft skin at 7 years old,’ says Lamb” (a psychology professor and author of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes).
My daughter is almost 9, right in the “tween” age group that would be using these products and, I guess, buying into their “marketing messages.” She also gets dry skin sometimes, which I’ve treated by giving her lotion. I really thought, on several occasions, that she needed lotion! What I’m puzzled by is the idea that encouraging my child to use a certain kind of product to take care of her skin is sending a “sexual message” to her. Do girls need lotion? Sometimes, yes! Does anyone else wonder what’s going on here??
First of all, you are never too young to start exfoliating; good dermatological health is often overlooked, so it’s great to start ’em young. (Maybe you can start a kids line of bubble gum scrub or something.)
These child psychologists sometimes drive me nuts when they start talking about little kids and sexual messages they might be receiving. When it comes down to it, even a idiot can figure out that the only sexual message a four-year-old girl is getting is that boys have something they don’t have: cooties. Do you really need a Harvard education to understand kids?? I don’t think so. I think if you already have a good dialogue with your kids concerning sex, and make them feel confortable coming to you with their questions, they’ll turn out just fine.
I love your blog… are all your entries going to have a moisturizing theme? 😛
Thanks for checking out the blog! No, there is actually no theme, rhyme or reason to these entries!! Just whatever comes to mind at the time. I thought I’d end up doing this more often, but I haven’t gotten into the groove of it yet…not enough coming to mind, I guess! :0)